If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Multiverse so far, it’s that it’s, well, big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. But here’s the real question: will it be as big as Spider-Man: No Way Home? The next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madnessis set to wildly expand on the reality-bending shenanigans that have been brewing through Loki, What If…?, Wanda Visionand that big-screen spider-behemoth, flinging Benedict Cumberbatch’s Master Of The Mystic Arts into a whole heap of chaos. There will be variants galore. There will be eye-popping alternate universes. There will be, going by the latest trailer, dinosaurs. Its leading man expects a major reaction.
“It’s a big, big movie,” promises Cumberbatch, whose Doctor Strange was last seen hastily patching up cracks in reality at the end of No Way Home. “It’s going to be an absolute riot. And if it brings off the level of ambition it’s got, we’re going to have a success on the level of Spidey. There you go, I’ll put my flag in the sand.” Seeing as that film has grossed over $1.86 billion and rising (in the pandemic era, no less), those are big words from the not-quite-Sorcerer Supreme.
No Way Home – and the double whammy of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame – proved that Doctor Strange really does play well with others after all. And his second solo film finds him teamed up with a favorite comic-book. Make way for America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez, a youngster with the ability to navigate her way through the various realities that make up the Multiverse, set to pose all kinds of quandaries for our favorite spell-caster. “Strange is still learning about the Multiverse,” director Sam Raimi teases. “And here’s a character that can actually travel through it. He’s such a know-it-all all the time, and to have to learn from a kid probably smarts.” Here’s an exclusive image of the pair, having seemingly been captured – but by whom?
Beyond the chaos, carnage, and Chavez of it all, though, Multiverse Of Madness is a Doctor Strange story through and through – one that will drill down right into the character’s core. “There’s a lot of reckoning,” says Cumberbatch. “And a lot of self-discovery. Strange is almost a stranger to himself before this film unfolds and reveals what, essentially, is in his nature, that he then has to either confront or resist or fall into or become.” The answers to the questions of who Strange really is, won’t have easy answers. “There are some very bold ideas, and some extraordinary tests of Strange and encounters,” Cumberbatch continues. “There are some very unexpected findings.”
Read more about Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness in the upcoming issue of Empire – talking to Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, director Sam Raimi, writer Michael Waldron, producer Richie Palmer and Marvel boss Kevin Feige about a movie that breaks all the rules of reality. Find it on newsstands from Thursday 17 March, or pre-order a copy online here.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness comes to cinemas from 6 May.